A trademark search is an effective way of seeing the listings of existing trademarks in Canada. Given there are thousands of trademark applications per year and growing, this can seem a little daunting. Luckily, there are many ways to conduct a search starting with preliminary online tools.
For a more advanced trademark search, it’s always possible to work with an IP Law Professional to ensure that your search covers all the necessary areas. They can also provide your business with advice on how to advance should any issues arise.
Here are 3 things every trademark search must look for.
Search for trademarks that look similar to the proposed idea
Since trademarks includes words, pictures, symbols, sounds, drawings and the like, it’s a good idea to search every element your potential trademark has. This will help you hone in on the specific details of your trademark search.
For example, if your business is working on a trademark that includes a particular combination of symbols, words and design elements – you may want to search these combinations collectively and also examine each element individually to ensure that you fall within a clear area to move forward with your application.
Look for variations
Make sure to look at alternative spellings for word marks in particular and even the slightest variations for images and designs. Any newly pending trademarks along with pre-existing registered trademarks will be part of the public record — so your search can remain as up-to-date as possible.
Include tradenames as a part of your search
Even though trade names differ from trademarks, they can often be used as trademarks while not being formally registered as one. How does that work, you may ask?
Imagine there’s a company that is associated with a particular product that is referential in its trade name. If your company’s trademark is associated with something similar to it, the other company could claim ownership of your trademark and dispute you during their oppositional stage of registration.
Searching tradenames helps you cover all of your tracks to ensure that you don’t end up in a messy situation in the future. Trade names are far more complex to search for — mainly because they are recorded provincially rather than nationally. This is when it’s best to work with an IP Law professional – they can help you gain access to information that could benefit an thorough and advanced trademark search.
BHOLE IP LAW is a boutique IP firm located in downtown Toronto, Canada and practices in all areas of IP, including developing business-minded patent strategies for startups, small and medium-sized businesses. BHOLE IP LAW provides competitive fees and, importantly, takes pride in its responsive and advisory approach.
**The information provided herein is a general background of intellectual property law concepts, does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Bhole IP Law, and the author, make no express or implied representations or warranties in respect of the information, including but not limited to the accuracy of the information. Note that while Bhole IP Law is a firm of Canadian lawyers authorized to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office, we are not U.S. lawyers nor lawyers in any other jurisdiction. As such, other foreign counsel may need to be consulted for U.S. or foreign legal matters.**